With only four games left in the regular season, it is put up or shut up time for Indiana.
Coming off a disappointing meltdown against Michigan State, the Hoosiers venture out to the road again, where they have won just three times all season in seven tries.
While home court isn’t quite the same this season, Rutgers continues to be a tough out at the Rutgers Athletic Center, where they are 36-9 over the last two seasons and will be hosting a senior night on Wednesday. But winners of just five of their last 13 contests, the Scarlet Knights have not been playing well of late. Rutgers has only defeated Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern (twice) and a Michigan State team fresh off a 20-day layoff during that span.
Both teams will be fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives in a late season Big Ten showdown.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Indiana (12-10, 7-8) at Rutgers (12-9, 8-9)
- Tip time: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, N.J.
- Television: BTN (Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo)
- IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith)
- Series: Indiana leads 7-4 (Rutgers won last meeting 74-70 in Jan.)
- Point Spread: Rutgers is a 3.5 point favorite
- KenPom has No. 28 Rutgers by 4 points over No. 34 Indiana
Rutgers is led by Steve Pikiell who is in his 5th season and is 76-74.
- Archie Miller Q&A prior to Rutgers
- Guard play will determine outcome vs. Rutgers
- Defense is Indiana’s latest issue
- Miller all but rules out Brunk and Stewart for season
RECAPPING THE FIRST MEETING
Coming off a major upset win at Iowa, Indiana was looking to build momentum while continuing Rutgers’ five game losing streak. Here were our three keys to the 74-70 IU loss in Bloomington exactly one month ago today.
1. Defense struggles with dribble penetration. Rutgers spread Indiana out, often overloading a side and attacking the other. The Scarlet Knights had 15 assists and shot 50.9 percent from the field. Rutgers cooled off some down the stretch, but still scored around 1.12 points per possession, which was the second highest average of the season at the time for IU. It didn’t seem to matter who was guarding the ball or who had it for Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights were routinely able to get past the first line of defense.
2. Jackson-Davis limited. Indiana leading scorer Jackson-Davis was limited to just 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting. That was his third lowest scoring total of the season. Jackson-Davis was averaging 20.6 points coming into the game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. He was also held under his season rebounding average of 8.8 with just seven on the afternoon. Rutgers center Myles Johnson had five of seven Scarlet Knight blocks on the game, and he bothered Jackson-Davis on several attempts around the basket. Armaan Franklin and Race Thompson helped carry the scoring load with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
3. Hoosiers struggle on two-pointers. IU was just 14-of-40 (35 percent) on two-point attempts in the game as Rutgers defended the rim well and forced the Hoosiers into mostly contested mid-range shots. The Hoosiers entered the game 52.4 percent on 2-pointers, but couldn’t get anything to go inside the arc. From 3-point range IU shot 10-of-16.
STEVE PIKIELL PREGAME Q&A
Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell met with the media on Tuesday to preview the game and his program’s senior night.
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